Island First Nations included in water, wastewater funding

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION—The governments of Canada and Ontario are committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. The Government of Canada is making historic investments to support Indigenous communities, including those on Manitoulin Island, including strengthening on-reserve water and waste water. These investments safeguard the health and well-being of residents, protect waterways and preserve local ecosystems.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Bill Mauro, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, on behalf of the Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, and Michelle Solomon, councillor, on behalf of Chief Peter Collins-Fort William First Nations, announced on Tuesday that 235 projects in First Nations across Ontario will receive funding under the Government of Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.

Thanks to this $8.8 million investment, First Nations across Ontario will benefit from improved water, wastewater and storm water management.

For Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, federal funding of $66,076 and provincial funding of $33,038 is being provided for the rehabilitation of the water treatment plant, including the computer monitoring system and ozone systems.

M’Chigeeng First Nation received funding of $80,000 from the federal government and $40,000 from the province for the replacement of the existing generator at the Lakeview Booster Station.

Sheguiandah First Nation received $36,656 in federal funding and $18,328 from the province for the purchase and installation of remote chlorine analyzers(s) in the distribution system; $17,000 from the federal government and $8,500 from the province for installation of new septic systems; and $2,510 from the federal government and $1,255 from the province for culvert replacement.

Sheshegwaning First Nation received funding of $54,977 from the federal government, and $27,489 from the province towards improvements to water treatability through upgrades in the water treatment plant process due to the age of the components.

The Whitefish River First Nation received $43,934 from the federal government and $21,967 from the province for upgrades of the water treatment plant for improved water treatability. As well, $2,699 was provided by the federal government and $1,350 from the province to improve operations with an asset management program.

Wiikwemkoong received funding of $164,000 from the federal and $82,000 from the provincial governments for design for the ability to meet the Wastewater System Effluent Regulations coming into effect on January 1, 2021. As well, the community received funding of $24,734 from the federal government and $12,367 from the province for a water treatment plant optimization study.

The Zhiibaahaasing First Nation will be able to make improvements to its water distribution through acquiring a new water truck. Funding of $52,819 was provided by the federal government and $26,410 from the province.

“All Canadians should have access to safe and reliable drinking water,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “Working in partnership with First Nations across Ontario, the Government of Canada is supporting sustainable solutions to address waster infrastructure on-reserve. Today’s investment will help First Nations better protect public health and safeguard the property and livelihoods of residents and businesses while conserving the local environment.”

“By supporting First Nations progress toward sustainable access to reliable water and wastewater services, we are helping to build a cleaner environment and healthier, more livable communities. The province of Ontario is committed to investing in the repairs and restorations needed to local clean water and wastewater infrastructure,” said the Honourable Bill Mauro, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

For the 235 projects announced the federal government is funding up to 50 percent of project costs, $8,885,876. The provincial government is providing up to 25 percent, $4,442,944 and the recipient First Nations will cover any remaining costs.